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Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) fund disability related course costs incurred whilst studying. The Disability Service can tell you if you are eligible and help you to apply.

DSAs can pay for:

  • Assistive software
  • Specialist support, e.g. Specialist 1:1 Study Skills Support and Specialist Mentoring
  • Specialist equipment
  • Travel

Eligibility

You can apply for DSAs if you have:

  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism

You’ll need to provide evidence that shows you meet the Equality Act 2010 definition of a disabled person. Always send copies of evidence, not originals.

You must be studying a Higher Education course to apply for DSAs. This includes full-time courses and some part-time courses.

You must also meet the criteria to apply for funding as a ‘Home’ student. The Student Advice Service provides guidance on the Home, EU or Overseas fee and funding categories.

If you’re unsure whether you can apply contact disability@arts.ac.uk for help.

Making an application

Applications are submitted to your student funding body. You don’t need to have a confirmed place on a course to apply for DSAs. We suggest making an application as soon as you have your course offer.  Students who are already studying can apply in the same way.

To find out more and to download an application form, visit your funding body website:

Help with your application

Disability Advisers offer support with DSAs before and during your course.  They can advise if you’re eligible to apply and help with your application.

We encourage all students to get in touch so we can offer support with the application process. Please contact disability@arts.ac.uk so we can direct you to your Disability Adviser.

The following students and applicants will need a Disability Adviser to complete part of their DSA application form:

  • Those applying to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland and who have applied for DSAs in the past.
  • Those who have not applied to the funding body for other types of student finance, e.g. a tuition fee loan.
  • Those studying, or planning to study, a postgraduate course.

Applying for DSAs may take several weeks. The University may be able to offer some support before DSAs are agreed.

The application process

The second page of our DSAs Factsheet has a step-by-step guide to the application process:

Higher Education students from Ireland

The Republic of Ireland offers funding similar to DSAs. This is called the ‘Fund for Students with Disabilities’. Find out more and check your eligibility online.

Please contact the Disability Service if you’re eligible. A Disability Adviser will need to help you apply.

Research/PhD students

Research students apply for DSAs in the usual way, unless you receive a research grant for fees or maintenance. You’ll still be eligible for DSA funding but a Disability Adviser will need to help you to apply.

Please contact disability@arts.ac.uk as early as possible to request support.